Will Still: The weirdest manager in top flight football
If you are an avid football fan, who is constantly on top of the recent news of the football world, you most definitely recognise the face in the picture above. But of course, I don't blame you if you don't. Afterall, I literally had to search “Will Still manager image” to find a high quality picture like the one you see above. But yes, as you may have noticed, this is Will Still, the manager of Ligue 1 club Stade Reims, and today I am going to tell you about Still’s peculiar story about how he got to being one of the best managers Ligue 1 has ever seen
So, who exactly is Will Still? Well, Will Still is a Belgian/English manager, born in 1992, who developed an interest in football from a young age. As a player, he played in a few local and league clubs, where his love for football only grew larger. Eventually, Still found himself playing the well known game Football Manager, where he ended up becoming “addicted” so to say, as whenever Still played, he couldn't drop his phone. This eventually resulted in Will Still’s first real managerial experience, with Preston North End's U14 squad.
After his time as an U14 coach, Still went on to become a video analyst for one of his childhood clubs, Sint-Truiden, where during Still’s time at the club, the club got promoted to the first division of Belgian football. Eventually, Will Still followed the footsteps of the head coach, and joined him at Standard de Liège, where over the following years, he got a few stints as video analyst, assistant coach, or even head coach at a few clubs around Belgium.
Eventually, Will Still’s hard work gave fruit, and at the age of 28 he earned a job at first division club Beerschot. He had already been working as assistant coach there for three years, and when he finally got the head coach position, he decided to only stay there for one season, as he was ready for his next big move, which involved an assistant coach role at one of the top 5 leagues in the world: Ligue 1. This job involved a lower tier club called Reims. After two seasons as assistant coach, Still finally got his dream job: head coach at a top 5 league club.
However this wasn't the end of the road for Will Still. You see, every league in Europe is part of an association called UEFA, and if you theoretically would want to manage a club in Europe, you would need a UEFA pro licence, which Will Still did not have. Well, what's the problem with that? In order to support Still’s brilliant efforts, Stade Reims are obligated to pay a £25,000 fee for every single match where the young manager is acting as head coach for Stade Reims. However, Stade Reims are ready to invest in Will Still’s career. The 30 year old coach, who is the youngest coach in Europe's top leagues, has already shown his worth in Stade Reims, having played 17 games, winning 8, drawing 8, and losing only once, giving him a 47.06 win percentage.
Currently, Stade Reims stand 11th in the Ligue 1 table, and they are also currently on an unbeaten streak of 8 games. More notably, they recently drew with the titan that is PSG, which is where Will Still’s name first started to reverberate across multiple instagram pages. I myself only heard of him from instagram, and after I was shocked to see that Stade Reims was paying £25,000 per game, I decided to research some more, and this is why I decided to write this article. In the future, I can guarantee that since Still is working on his UEFA pro licence, his name will be seen in even better clubs. So remember the name: Will Still!
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